There has been a trend in baseball that has recently seen team revenues sky rocket and that is signing lucrative long term TV deals. Even though signing TV deals isn't exactly new the money that is being thrown at teams sure as hell is new. The Yankees and Mets rake in millions from Yankee Entertainment & Sports (YES) and Sportsnet New York (SNY), the Angel's deal with FOX Sports allowed the Angels to add Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson, and Josh Hamilton in the last three years, and the Dodgers' TV deal (the richest deal of them all so far) has allowed them to take on over 200 million dollars of contracts from the Red Sox and has allowed them to add players to the roster with no real concern over the money. The next team to hit the TV deal lotto is going to be the Philadelphia Phillies who is set up to have FOX Sports and Comcast battle over the airing rights for Phillie games after 2015. This deal can bank the Phillies up to and maybe past the 5 Billion mark. That's right I said BILLION.
As much as their political views bother me it's interesting how much FOX is buying up the airing rights to so many teams. Even the Yankees have sold a part of YES to FOX which no one ever thought would've been possible.
Who exactly is ecstatic to hear news like this is the players union who know that their constituents will be paid very well when it comes time to negotiate contracts. All these teams (except for the Mets) have had recent post season success so it's understandable that their fans want to see them everyday and that is what is driving these TV deals up. Nielsen (the company that tracks of viewership and ad money) reported that last year, $13.3 billion was spent on advertising within sports programs, which accounted for 23 percent of national TV ad spending. Nielsen also noted that 99 percent of people ages 18 to 49 watched sports programming live or that day.
So as long as teams stay in contention fans will run to their TVs to watch their team even if their east coast team is on a west coast trip. The best example is when the Yankees were without several of its stars ratings for YES were down, but once Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, and even Derek Jeter, who only showed his face for about 15 minutes, came back from their injuries not only did the ratings for Yankee games go up, but the attendance at Yankee games actually went up.
Will these TV deals come back and haunt the teams that don't use the money correctly remains to be seen, but stay tuned to see your favorite stars in action, heck the ratings will help your team.